King gets inspiration from a lot of different places including his classmates.
“Some of my characters are based on the personalities of my classmates and some are made up out of my head. My classmates know that some of the characters are based on them and they are excited about it. Some of them ask me to do it,” he said.
The talented young artist has no formal art training.
King’s mother, Cheryl King, knew her son had something special when she saw the unique way he held his pens and pencils—his thumb and the top of the writing utensil and the rest of his fingers at the bottom.
“We just let him draw but after a while we’d have to stop him because he just kept on drawing,” explained Cheryl King, a stay-at-home mom. “I tried to get him to hold his pencil the right way but when I saw what he was doing I let it go.”
The peculiar way King holds his pencil has become his signature and is called “the grip.”
“Ever since I’ve been writing or drawing, I’ve held it that way,” he said. “This feels comfortable to me. Teachers have tried to change it, but I had good penmanship so they left me alone.”
King has created baseballs, T-shirts, mugs and notebooks with “the grip” logo on them. The notebook is for sale on King’s website.
In addition, he enjoys reading, playing video games, the high honor roll student is currently practicing for the school’s version of “The King and I.” He will play the lead role in the musical. He has had parts in other school musicals including “Fiddler on the Roof” and “Annie.”
Ultimately King would like to get his comic book published and into stores.
“We’re looking for some help to get an agent and get his comic book published because he wants to share his book with other kids,” Steven King said.
(For more information on Dante King’s comic book or characters, visit http://www.dantethecartoonist.com.)